No matter how hard you try all landlords make mistakes every now and again, especially if they have a large property portfolio. Juggling numerous tenancies can often be stressful and time consuming, and it is during busy periods that things start to slip. Unfortunately, as a landlord, if you make a mistake you could risk finding yourself in legal difficulties, so here we look at four common mistakes landlords make and how they can be avoided:
Not drafting in-depth Tenancy Agreements
At Just Landlords we have written about the importance of tenancy agreements numerous times, with the reason behind it being that they can literally make or break a tenancy. If you have a number of properties that need new tenants you may be tempted to draft up tenancy agreements as quickly as possible in order to make sure your properties are filled, however this can cause trouble in the long run. Without in-depth tenancy agreements you leave yourself vulnerable to tenants mistreating your property or even failing to pay their rent on time, and if you do decide to start the eviction process it will be difficult to argue your case without a proper tenancy agreement. Even if you are in a rush make sure you spend a good amount of time going over each new tenancy agreement, that way your business will remain safe.
Failing to Register Deposits on Time
In order to reduce the amount of tenant-landlord disputes and give less power to rogue landlords, the government introduced new legislation stating that all tenancy deposits must be placed within a registered scheme. Previously, there were instances where tenants had found that their landlords had spent their deposits before the end of their tenancies with no intention of returning them in the first place, which is not only unfair but also immoral. There were also cases of landlords who wanted to use deposits to fix damages to their properties but due to objections made by their tenants had to wait weeks, leaving their properties unusable for substantial periods of time. Deposit protection schemes therefore benefit both landlords and tenants, however if you fail to register a deposit within thirty days you could receive a fine. To avoid this, make it a habit to register deposits the same week you receive them.
Returning Tenant Queries Late
As a tenant there is nothing more annoying than having something wrong with your property and your landlord failing to address it within a reasonable amount of time. Even if it sounds like something small and unimportant to you, your tenant will find it extremely annoying, so don’t be surprised if they keep chasing you. When it comes to property maintenance you should give yourself a set turnaround time, such as one week, to address the issue and put into place a plan to have it resolved. Your landlord insurance provider should be able to help organise any maintenance that needs to be carried out on your properties, however don’t forget that you should also visit personally to make sure everything is in order.
Never Taking Time Off
Having a clear mind means you will be able to deal with situations calmly and logically, which is why it’s important for landlords to take some time off every now and again. However, recent studies have shown that seven out of ten landlords have drastically changed their plans in order to help their tenants, which means that taking time off isn’t always easy. There are ways that you can steal some time for yourself however, such as in the evenings and weekends, or even between viewings. When it comes to creating your schedule you should always factor in time to relax, otherwise you will find that you will go weeks on end without taking a break. Even if it’s just relaxing and listening to your favourite CD for half an hour you will feel the difference and be able to carry on with your work!
Making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad landlord, however if you continually make the same mistakes and don’t do something to remedy it you will find both your business and yourself suffering. Address your mistakes as soon as you can